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Friday, June 29, 2012
The Longest Fight


Before there was Mike Tyson, before there was Muhammed Ali, before there was Jack Johnson, there was Joe Gans - boxing's first African-American champion. Many people came to Goldfield, Nevada, America’s last gold-rush town, to seek their fortune. However, on a searing summer day in September 1906, they came not to strike it rich but to watch what would become the longest boxing match of the twentieth century—between Gans and "Battling" Nelson, a vicious and dirty brawler. It was a match billed as the battle of the races. In "The Longest Fight" author William Gildea tells the story of this epic match, which would stretch forty-two rounds and last two hours and forty-eight minutes. Jeremy Schaap speaks with Gildea about his just released book about the forgotten champion. Listen